An out-of-place artifact (OOPArt) is a term coined by American zoologist and cryptozoologist Ivan T. Sanderson for an object of historical, archaeological or paleontological interest found in a very unusual or seemingly impossible context.
The term “out-of-place artifact” is rarely used by mainstream historians or scientists; rather, its use is largely confined to cryptozoologists, proponents of ancient astronaut theories, and paranormal enthusiasts. The term is used to describe a wide variety of objects, from anomalies studied by mainstream science to pseudoarchaeology that is far outside the mainstream to objects that have been shown to be hoaxes or to have mundane explanations.
Critics argue that most purported OOPArts which are not hoaxes are the result of mistaken interpretation, wishful thinking, or a mistaken belief that a particular culture couldn’t have created an artifact or technology due to a lack of knowledge or materials.
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